News

Palo Alto looks to spur affordable housing

City staff to consider 'micro units'; explore new programs for moderate-income workers

Seeking to halt the city's transformation into an enclave for the super-rich, Palo Alto officials set their sights Monday night on developing housing for teachers, firefighters, government workers and other employees whose incomes are too low to afford local rents but too high to qualify for local affordable-housing programs.

The idea, proposed by Vice Mayor Greg Scharff and embraced by all of his colleagues, is one of several to emerge from a long council discussion focused on a problem that has taken on fresh urgency in recent months: a housing crunch that is sending home prices to new heights, displacing long-time residents, leaving "empty nest" seniors with no options for downsizing and exacerbating the city's traffic congestion.

In addition to exploring programs for "moderate-income employees," the council directed staff to consider programs for encouraging the construction of downtown "micro" units; promoting mixed-use developments with retail and residential components; and focusing more housing in the transit-rich area around California Avenue.

The council's vote to proceed with these initiatives followed a discussion that featured comments from nearly 30 residents, many of whom lobbied for high-density housing, a relaxation of parking requirements for new housing developments and other initiatives that would make housing construction more enticing.

The City Council is now in the midst of updating the city's official land-use vision, the Comprehensive Plan, and the discussion was intended to generate new ideas for housing policies that could be included in the document.

While tangible solutions are still many months, if not years, from materializing, the council signaled Monday that it has no shortage of ideas for moving the conversation forward.

Councilman Cory Wolbach, one of the council's leading housing advocates, supported the "micro-unit" concept targeting people who don't drive. He emphasized that the council should make it clear that it would enforce the car prohibition for these units. Wolbach also argued that in addition to promoting these small units, the council should also consider new major facilities.

"We need to think whether we want a Channing House or something like that; or another Opportunity Center or something like that," Wolbach said.

Council members acknowledged that local solutions cannot solve the regional problem of inadequate housing. That, however, should not deter the city from trying, Councilman Marc Berman said. Doing nothing, he said, definitely won't make things better.

"If we care about the cost of housing in Palo Alto, if we care about the cost of housing in Silicon Valley, we have to try to do something," Berman said. "We have to do it in a deliberate manner."

And deliberate they were. The council came up with ideas ranging from new "overlay" districts with affordable-housing requirements to relaxation of height limits in downtown for housing units.

Mayor Pat Burt called the proposal for an affordable-housing overlay an "interesting approach" and voiced support for micro-units, which he said would make sense for single residents and young couples, both in downtown and other parts of the city. Councilman Tom DuBois requested that staff return with plan for ensuring that existing homes are used for housing, not other uses -- a proposal that all of his colleagues deemed worthwhile.

While the council has seen its share of divisions in recent years when it comes to new developments, most of the proposals that advanced Monday night did so with unanimity. The lone exception was the proposal to shift some sites designated for housing from San Antonio Road to California Avenue, which has more shopping amenities and transportation options for potential residents.

The council voted 5-4 to make the shift, with Councilman Marc Berman, Councilwoman Liz Kniss, Councilwoman Karen Holman and Councilman Eric Filseth dissenting.

Those who supported the change, including Scharff, argued that San Antonio already has too much congestion and that conditions will only get worse as the building boom continues on the Mountain View side of the road.

Those who opposed the change countered that San Antonio has plenty of amenities to offer residents and that the rapid densification on the Mountain View side could usher forth new transportation options and shopping opportunities for residents on the Palo Alto side.

Kniss said that she had lived in the area before and challenged the notion that the area in San Antonio Road is "service deprived."

"It will take a really good area for housing off our map at this point," she argued.

The Citizens Advisory Committee, a 23-member group that is helping the city update the Comprehensive Plan, was similarly split on the San Antonio proposal.

Elaine Uang, who serves on the group, told the council that committee members offered a range of views on this topic.

"Some members are open to it because the services might be there, given what's happening southward," Uang said. "But there is concern that any time it's redeveloped, it could displace existing tenants."

Much like in other recent discussions of housing, members of the public turned out to offer stories of displacement and hardships and tips for improving the situation.

Bonnie Packer, a long-time housing advocate, asked the council to keep the San Antonio sites on the city's housing inventory (a state-mandated list of sites that could potentially accommodate new units), arguing that the city can use all the sites it can get.

Vanessa Warheit also spoke in favor of more housing and urged the council to focus construction near transit.

"I don't think we need to necessarily build many high-rises, though I'd encourage you to not be too firm in holding that height limit, and I think densification around transit is really smart," Warheit said. "We should continue to look at that as a viable option. We should build as much housing as we possibly can because we need it."

Several speakers urged the council to consider low-income workers and residents with disabilities, who currently have very few viable options. Anita Lusenbrink, who has a family member with a development disability, was among them. All kinds of people can contribute to the community, she said, "not just the very wealthy 1 percent."

"People without cars and without high-paying jobs can add quite a bit to the community as well, even though it's not tax-based income," Lusenbrink said.

Yet others warned against building too much too fast, without adequately considering the impact of new developments. Some argued that simply building housing will do nothing to make local homes more affordable or to prevent displacement of long-time residents.

Palo Alto resident Lydia Kou said she was concerned about "the kind of schizophrenic approval of development continuing now in the name of providing housing."

"Residential growth has its own impacts -- a need for parks, community centers, recreation services and schools," Kou said. "Building housing has impacts as well and if the cumulative impacts are not addressed it will further compound the issue."

Barron Park resident Winter Dellenbach argued that market-rate housing will always be "as expensive as the market allows" and urged the council to focus exclusively on below-market-rate housing -- the only option that can give middle- and low-income employees a chance to live in Palo Alto.

"Working-class people once lived here in an economically diverse community with professionals and academics," Dellenbach. "But now it's a rich person's town, or it's becoming so."

Council members generally agreed that when it comes to new housing, the focus should be on those who cannot afford local real estate prices but who make important contributions to the community.

Filseth observed that "we can't possibly house everybody who wants to move to Palo Alto" and said the city should target those who cannot afford market rates.

"That's the focus: Is this going to help us keep people in town who can't afford to live here right now?" Filseth said.

Comments

34 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 7:06 am

How many janitors, technicians, nurses, accountants, etc. working at Stanford live in Stanford campus? Probably zero. Even most of faculties don't live in Stanford.

Stanford land holdings is so vast that cows grazing freely on the empty hills. But Palo Alto and surrounding cities are jam-packed, housing people working at Stanford and its hospital, or serving needs of entities in Stanford. I think it's time to ask Stanford to pitch in and contribute its land for low and middle income housing, not just for faculties and students.


25 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Mar 22, 2016 at 7:16 am

@m2grs, Please go visit Stanford West BMR page Web Link

• 1 Bedroom $964
• 2 Bedroom $1,189
• 3 Bedroom $1,632


59 people like this
Posted by Happy Houser
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Mar 22, 2016 at 7:29 am

thank you to all the residents who spoke in favor of adding significantly more housing and doing so in such reasonable and refreshing ways as suggested by staff. Council should be commended for supporting staff's suggestions as throughout the night there were statements from Councilmembers talking about the need to create affordable housing, the need to create housing for other income levels who dont qualify for traditional affordable (subsidized) teachers, nurses, city staff and artists. There was repeated support for transit oriented development especially near California Avenue and Universiry Ave, acknowledgement that there are some members of our community who don't want to drive like the developmentally disabled who would be fine with car lite housing, and that looking to Stanford and other communities for best practices on dense infill housing is a key to finding a way to address the housing/jobs ratio. Lets see a scenario that makes generating real numbers possible.


56 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Mar 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Thank you to the staff for laying out a "yes we can" set of options for expanding housing choices in Palo Alto. Thank you to the council for adopting a " yes we can" approach in the face of voices saying "no we can't or "no, we shouldn't".

Thank you to council members and speakers who pointed out that smaller units can serve people well and will cost less than larger units.

Thanks to the council members and speakers who pointed out that housing near services, shopping, transit and jobs can eliminate car trips and offer people opportunities to meals and bike.

No, not all cars and car trips will be eliminated. No, housing prices and rents of existing housing will probably not decline.

But, yes housing location can reduce driving, and, yes, smaller units are more affordable than today's large units.

And, yes exploring the use of public lands can provide opportunities for moderate income housing.

And thanks to council members who understand that another facility like Channing House and other options for seniors can help our community.

It is heartening to see a positive "yes we can" attitude.

So keep your voices and ideas coming. Council is listening on housing.

We are Silicon Valley. We can be innovative, energetic and successful in improving housing choices and preventing Palo Alto from losing diversity and the quality of life that a diverse community brings for our children.


63 people like this
Posted by GenXer
a resident of University South
on Mar 22, 2016 at 8:08 am

Good to see Council actually doing something, for a change! Kudos to all the Council members who stepped up to the challenge last night.

I am not afraid of more housing in my neighborhood. New residents will lead to even better restaurants and shops on University and Hamilton. We have the best downtown on the Peninsula, but it can get even better. If you add restrictions on new cars, as Wolbach advocates, I am happier still.

More living space is good, more cars are bad. Let's embrace new buildings while limiting new cars.


17 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

If you don't want them to drive then zip cars rental bikes and better transportation is a must. Even non car owners will need to do a Costco or IKEA trip every so often let alone a trip to Tahoe or the airport.


35 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

@Mike, Thanks for the link. I guess some low and mid-income workers may live in Stanford BMR units. However the BMR waiting list is closed. I don't know how many on campus BMR units exist. My guess is not many.

I personally interviewed rental applicants who were Stanford employees, nurse, accountant, postdocs, and even an assistant professor.

Stanford just rented a entire new large apartment complex on El Camino Real next to Vitamin Shoppe in Mountain View, to house its postdocs and scholars. Those units could have been rented to other non-Stanford people if Stanford build apartments on its own vast land.


49 people like this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

Many of us house-rich and long time residents, no longer feel in step with Palo Alto. I am ready to move out and make room for the Portola Valley developers' dreams for stacked density, all those who want to build McMansions and bring in every family member from all over the world.

The problem is that I can no longer swap out to another house of equal or lesser value without paying a capital gains tax which would deplete my retirement savings. Make this possible and I will happily move to a place with a less franchised, more charming Downtown -- perhaps even one which still has a bookstore or two.


49 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

The experience of other cities which allowed the building of smaller, "affordable" units is that the units became as expensive as larger, older units as they turned over, and the social engineering experiment only accelerated the rate of property value inflation and made them even more unaffordable. This is exactly what is going to happen here. The density and traffic will increase, and property values will go up even more rapidly. Palo Alto will just become a big city faster. This is PAF putting more pressure on the finger in the dyke that's temporarily stopping the flood of development and urbanization.


30 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 22, 2016 at 10:56 am

I wish I had more confidence in the mindset and abilities of those who will be implementing the housing plans under discussion. As we have seen, affordable often = dense and ugly. The fortress on High comes immediately to mind. Churchill had a good term for this sort of housing: accommodation units. I see them as egg crates for people. If we must do this we need our ARB and CC to be diligent about approving only plans that are affordable but not hideous. No need to visually ruin Palo Alto in the process of solving an arguably self-inflicted problem.


30 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:19 am

I am not at all against more affordable housing in Palo Alto, but I am always worried about artificial measures, as they cannot be maintained in the long run.

I believe that a better transportation system that efficiently connects the inner Bay area, so workers can get to their jobs within a reasonable time frame, is a more effective solution.

I never lived in a city I worked in. As a young worker I used to travel by train for one hour and took a bus to my workplace, and I accepted that as normal.

If we were to have an excellent transportation system, more people could afford homes in the surrounding areas, and the prices in Palo Alto might stabilize.


28 people like this
Posted by Bravo for PAF
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:34 am

Sounds like they were able to get their members to the CC meeting in force. And their boy Wolbach delivered big tip. Hurray! Shame on PA residents whose family responsibilities kept them away from the CC meeting Monday night. I guess they won't have a voice in PA's future.


20 people like this
Posted by Implementation
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

More housing units just means more units available for investors to hold,and maybe to rent out (or not). How will PA ensure that the units go towards the kinds of people listed, and not to rich landlords who want to invest more in real estate, or to rich retirees who want a second property in which to possibly downsize in the future or to hold for their children, or to rich high-tech employees who simply prefer to have an extra "in-town" unit, or to rich overseas investors who want to hold real estate in the US. Sometimes availability creates demand. And there is a lot of pent-up money competing for real estate and driving up prices. . .


18 people like this
Posted by DZ
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

How many of those who live in BMR units actually work in Palo Alto? If we only offer BMR units to people who are currently working in our city, we should have already more than enough! Why should Palo Alto taxpayers pay for the dues owed by other cities? And why should we allow BMR owners rent their houses out to make a profit? We can not just adding units without actually manage them!


9 people like this
Posted by Annette Isaacson
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

Annette Isaacson is a registered user.

Thank you to the city council and staff for looking into the idea of micro units. These are a win-win - win for the owners, renters and the city. Better transportation will encourage people to get out of their cars, but you can't expect a teacher, custodian or a fire-fighter who rents one of these micro units to do without a car if they live miles from the school or fire station at which they work. Right now Palo Alto does not provide convenient enough transportation to all the possible job venues.


45 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

We moved to Palo Alto in the mid 60's, my husband a Korean War Navy officer vet. Almost got called up in 1962. In the mid-90's he retired from Silicon Valley, I went to work in my late 40's to put the brood through college. (when the youngest got into high school.) At one time all three were in college at the same time. College was relatively cheap then compared to now, but not to us. They all had to work. We have a wonderful neighborhood, nice friends, easy home to care for, lovely garden, children off on their own and they are happy where they are- not here - had a 25 year mortgage, house paid off in early 90's , easy to get around for old folks...and if we moved now before the first one of us dies, we would pay a horrific capital gains tax and higher taxes way over our Social Security income could bear. So many seniors we knew in the mid-60's had to move before Prop 13 kicked in. We would have had to move too. Most of our friends are 'seniors' - no one moving anyplace. WE LIKE IT HERE - I'TS HOME FOR US. When these houses were built in 1951, our home sold for $13.000. By the mid 60's the price was almost TRIPLE!!. So...get off our old backs!!!! Life happens. These comments are hurtful - especially those of the former and current council members. My husband never made more that $60K and retired after 27 years with the same company. And along the way, he got a Master's Degree. We contributed a lot to the community, Paly band, soccer, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League. We live simply......And we still drive an old car. In the meantime, Stanford grew from that nice relatively small 'college'-university in our backyard to a mega-city. Thousands more will come to staff the new hospital and all the new buildings on campus. Housing them is Seniors fault? or should we just move or die faster? Grow up and get real.


20 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:03 pm

@Bravo for PAF: you are being sarcastic, right? Your comment about Wolbach suggests you might be. There are many valid reasons for not attending a CC mtg and for many people family obligations is at the top of that list.


8 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

@Kate. When you finally decide to sell your home are you going to sell it for an "affordable" price so that other low income people can have the benefit of living in Palo Alto?

Since you bought your home for $13,000, a reasonable appreciation would be 5% for a selling price of $250,000

Or are you going to go for every penny you can squeeze out of any buyer and sell for millions of dollars?
If you do then you are contributing to making Palo Alto un-affordable.


12 people like this
Posted by Pretend data driven
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm

The city could easily do a survey of residents in high rise buildings along the tracks to find out how much they actually use the trains.

It's easier just to repeat the catechism. And reward developers - win win.
And pretend you are data driven. win win win


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Palo Alto has always been gung ho for affordable housing in principle. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, it is the most difficult type of housing to achieve, especially for the middle income workers this new resolve appears to be targeting.

In short, the spirit is willing, but ... .


13 people like this
Posted by PAF is lack of manage
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

@DZ, agree with you. Not all BMR units are hosting real needed families. Some may be qualified in the past, but their kids were all grew up and left the nest, yet a single lady is still occupying a 3-bedroom BMR unit. Not sure how the PAF manages BMR list. I don't mean to force those people out...I would be bombed by them and some "activists", but at least move to a smaller BMR unit and let other "poor" families to move in 3-bedroom BMR unit.


10 people like this
Posted by Not sure
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:35 pm

And how would one enforce car prohibition? You can't stop someone buying a car after they move in any more than you can force people buying in transit rich zones to use public transport.


11 people like this
Posted by Buck Allday
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by GenXer
a resident of University South
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

It would be pretty easy to restrict cars in a new apartment complex in the downtown area. Just choose how many cars you want to allow, and restrict the complex to building that many parking spaces. Then make residents of that building ineligible for street permits. Landlords can charge extra for the use of the parking spaces in that building.

I know several couples with young kids who share a car to save money and hassle when one spouse bikes or takes the train to work. I know others who would downsize from two cars to one if that meant that they paid less on rent. I don't think this is particularly novel or hard to implement, and it's easy to see why people would want to participate in this program.


35 people like this
Posted by Lydia Kou
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

@MARC with regard to your question to @Kate. When you finally decide to sell your home are you going to sell it for an "affordable" price so that other low income people can have the benefit of living in Palo Alto? Or are you going to go for every penny you can squeeze out of any buyer and sell for millions of dollars?
If you do then you are contributing to making Palo Alto un-affordable.

WHY should she? From what she wrote she doesn't seem to have the "entitlement disorder", she seems to have work hard for what she has today...all ASSETS. Her husband is a war veteran and she supported him, their family and the country. In addition, she took ownership for bettering the community she lives in by her volunteerism.

Yo Marc, so what have you done lately?


22 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Someone mentioned the "fortress on High St". If that fortress is any indication of the driving habits of those living near public transportation, they still own cars and use them just as much as those living farther from public transportation. Notice how PAF is careful not to conduct and publish any studies about that.

If I were a betting man, I'd put all my money on foreign investors outbidding all others for those "affordable" units and making them very unaffordable. Anybody who thinks we can build our way to affordability must talk to me about some Palo Alto cheap land I wish to sell.

This is a classic case of PAF showing up en masse time after time before the council and eventually wearing them down, while residentialists fell asleep and chose to be passive.


27 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Unless you have transportation infrastructure that makes it 100% unnecessary to use a car*, adding people to an area necessarily increases traffic.

If you concentrate those people in small areas then you also concentrate added traffic in those areas.

So what's being discussed here is best understood as a trade-off: Some additional people (but not enough to improve affordability overall) will be able to live in Palo Alto, in exchange for sacrificing some quality of life for the California and University Ave neighborhoods and for the drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians who use the roads near them.

Similar arguments apply to schools, water, open space, architecture, and so on.

We have legal commitments to provide a few thousand units of housing over the next eight years, and that's mostly what Council is dealing with at the moment. Nevertheless, this is not a win for everyone, and it's reasonable for the people on the losing end to ask for better.

For example, improving the mass transportation infrastructure would benefit a great many more people, including those who already live here and those who work here but can't afford to live here, and probably with less downside. "Yes we can" -- make better use of scarce resources than just building housing for a few.

* I'm including Uber/Lyft and future shared driverless cars in this, too. Serving transportation needs with cars that have to drive into an area as well as out of it can double the total amount of traffic. Car use, not ownership, is the fundamental problem.


4 people like this
Posted by GenXer
a resident of University South
on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Of course, you can also improve both housing and transportation - increasing affordability and decreasing cars at the same time. If you bring in people who are required by lease to be car-lite, you provide a ready market for the mass transit system. And contributions to transit programs can be required as a condition for development, alongside requiring developers to build less parking. That provides money to make transit more frequent and that can entice existing residents and workers out of their cars.

If you insist that mass transit only operate in single-family neighborhoods, it will never be able to make back its operating costs or run frequent service. On the other hand, parking is so expensive to build that you can ask for a lot of transit money if you also reduce parking requirements.


29 people like this
Posted by Facts Don't Matter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:25 pm

@Annette Isaacson

If you have not already, then I suggest you read up on the most recent experiment in Manhattan for new micro apartments with a development called Carmel Place.

"Carmel Place's monthly rent is a bit expensive for Kips Bay, ranging from $2,540 for a 265-square-foot studio to $2,910 for a 355-square-foot one bedroom. Other unfurnished studios in the area cost anywhere from $2,300 to $3,200 per month, but for twice the square footage."

Web Link

In other words, they are more expensive than existing studio apartments that are bigger and have shattered the previous price-per-square foot record. For the 14 BMR units, they had 60,000 applicants or 4,300 per apartment.

For those of you who think micro apartments are the salvation, the current data does not support you and we all will be the worse for it if you get your way.


8 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:41 pm

@GenXer: "Of course, you can also improve both housing and transportation - increasing affordability and decreasing cars at the same time."

Unlike the projects under consideration at the moment, which fail to increase affordability, but increase cars anyway. :-)


13 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:45 pm

@Marc, reasonable appreciation is benchmarked to S&P500 total return, the primary vehicle for your IRAs and 401k, as well as CalPERS. The long term average is around 9 percent annualized. $35,000 from the mid sixties is equivalent to $2.6 million 50 years later. (Taking 1.09 to the 50th power gives a factor of 74x)


24 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Based on the experience of other cities, micro apartment actually end up becoming more expensive than larger older apartment, and then push their price higher, actually decreasing affordability, such as it is. This will just make Palo Alto properties more expensive and less affordable, will increase density and traffic, and create new problems, while not solving any.


5 people like this
Posted by Apartment Poor
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 6:02 pm

The government employees mentioned are all critical to Palo Alto. Society needs all varieties of people to function though, and I don't think these particular occupations should be given any extra advantage.

My inclination is more BMR housing, available only to current Palo Alto workers or resisdents.


6 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Marie is a registered user.

I'd like to know more about zoning or ordinances the council could pass that would lead to a "car prohibition", as mentioned below by Cory Wolbach. What kind of ordinance an you pass that does not allow someone to own a car? No parking simply means anyone owning a car would be looking for a place on the street to park it, as in SF. Would they be ineligible for a RPP permit? Unless there is some enforceable ordinance that would not allow car ownership, all new housing should be required to include parking, and not add to the parking deficit.


"Councilman Cory Wolbach, one of the council's leading housing advocates, supported the "micro-unit" concept targeting people who don't drive. He emphasized that the council should make it clear that it would enforce the car prohibition for these units. Wolbach also argued that in addition to promoting these small units, the council should also consider new major facilities."


9 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I invite informed commentary on the following: we are grappling with a jobs:housing imbalance. Yet, based on what I read, the focus of discussion is the housing side of that equation. Why not focus some on the job side of the ratio and take a hard look as to whether some of the tech jobs could be relocated or accomplished via - wait for it - technology and done via telecommuting? Saturated communities may WANT to provide more housing but that may not be in the cards just yet. This may be the harsh reality that must be faced until nature takes its inevitable course and those of us who are baby boomers move on to a new community or another realm altogether.


14 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

"Someone mentioned the "fortress on High St". "

I call it San Quentin South, after its grim prison-like appearance from the alley behind affordable housing project next door, which BTW the 800 High St. inhabitants fought vigorously.

But back to the current point: each of those units has 2 dedicated parking spaces during the day, and 3 at night after the public parking closes. Its developer touted it as a "transit-oriented" development, and the city council ate that up, so I guess it must be.

Moral: each unit in a transit-oriented mass housing project needs 2-3 parking spaces.


66 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:20 pm

The creation of three quality-of-life sacrificial zones around U. Ave, Cal Ave, and San Antonio, is a political stroke of genius on the part of the developer friendly council members and city staff... divide and conquer.

Savvy members of the council recognize the political danger of pushing too many quality-of-life sacrificial zones at the same time, and recommended removing San Antonio from the list. University Ave is already a hopeless mess, so that leaves the residents around Cal Ave as the vulnerable prime target for predatory real-estate development supported by faux transportation solutions.

"Build baby build"... Palo Alto residents continue to sacrifice, so developers can continue to profit, by building self-serving, pretend, solutions to problems they created.

What we are witnessing is not just the destruction of the quality of life in Palo Alto, but the creeping extermination of Palo Alto's subculture of exceptionalism though, petty greed, misguided social engineering, and a profound lack of imagination. No one on the City Council has been able to rise to the occasion and provide real leadership, but instead are happy to be lead (or mislead) by uninspired bureaucrats within the bowels of city hall, and the stale establishment-left visions of over-the-hill hippies, and faux social justice warriors from the AstroTurf (fake grassroots) organization known as Palo Alto Forward.

I really think Palo Alto can, and should, help build 300+ plus units for the developmentally challenged and their families that are struggling to cope, but find it shameful that entitled millennial office-space workers making $120K think they are somehow in the same disadvantaged category and deserving of a government subsidized housing... isn't it a little like a healthy adult male putting on a dress, and trying to sneak into a lifeboat on the Titanic?

Goodbye Palo Alto. I was nice knowing you.


10 people like this
Posted by Job Side Ideas
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Great point Annette!

There are lots of practical ideas that many urban job areas use to help manage traffic issues. For some reason, the bay area seems to be going backwards in this regard. Below are a few I have personally seen in both U.S. and international cities:

- Staggered and coordinated commute times for the start and end of the workday. When everybody goes to work at 9am and leaves around 5pm then it creates gridlock. If we staggered the downtown district, university area and research park companies by 30 minutes it could make a big difference
- Telecommuting incentives. Many of the larger companies used to pay for ISDN lines and home offices. Ironically, the technology has gotten a lot better and cheaper but the culture has reversed. Thank you Marissa at Yahoo.
- Satellite offices in the suburbs. There are companies that provide shared office space to make this even more affordable. No need to come in to Palo Alto on Mondays or Fridays if you just have a few meetings or need office services. Go to the local satellite office instead.
- Creative use of 10 hour work days and 4 day work weeks

All of these tactics can be easily encouraged with city regulatory and tax policy. There is strong evidence that these are more cost effective for companies as well. Unfortunately, our government is discouraging working remotely and conversely has adopted policies for future growth where workers must live near where they work.


10 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Need to make something clear. When our present home was built in 1951, our model sold for about $12,000 if I remember correctly. We bought it in 1965 for $31,500. - and my parents had a hissy fit. "How can you ever pay this off??" Well, we did in 25 year loan. That's almost a 180 % increase in fourteen years. Our first little house in the Willows recently sold for over one million. We bought it in 1960 for about $18K. Sold it for $27K to move into Palo Alto in 1965. It was originally about $8K. But the taxes in Palo Alto and elsewhere were just awful. Seniors were leaving - we had planned to do so in 1975 until Prop 13 was passed with a huge margin. So many friends left - retirees and even our age.

As for what to do with our "windfall" IF we sold? Until the first person dies, we'd be stuck with humongous capital gains tax , Around here good retirement homes with care, housing, food, nice amenities are at least $6,000 A MONTH -for one person. That's for one person!! Personal care is extra. Same prices where our families live. Twenty -eight years ago for my mom the tab was $2,000 a month. And in case you don't know it, dying can be very expensive. So is getting old.

We're staying put, hire some help if need be. When we pass on, and our children can do what they wish, but they own their own lovely homes elsewhere and are happy. We are happy, but it is hurtful to read the 'Seniors, please die or just leave." or sell and live in a small apartment.
This problem belongs to Stanford and the businesses in the Stanford Industrial Park and all the tech companies.. Stanford has 8,000 green acres out there with a huge golf course. And you are telling us seniors to get out, sell at a cheap price? Yes, that's what some of you are saying. Sometimes being hard of hearing is a blessing.
I don't hear any welcoming comments for seniors from our city council.


43 people like this
Posted by in the middle
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:57 pm

We are middle-aged (40s) Palo Alto homeowners with kids in PAUSD schools. We are very concerned about the over-development in Palo Alto, particularly around Cal Ave. I believe that there are many, many more Palo Alto residents like us. Most of us are too busy working, paying our mortgages, and taking care of our kids to attend meetings to voice our views. From reading the Weekly, one would surmise that Palo Alto homeowners are all wealthy, elderly retirees, too selfish to make room for the hardworking, outspoken millenials. This is far from the case.


16 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2016 at 6:50 am

It's impossible to prohibit residents from owning cars, and nearly all of them will own cars. Restricting parking will just men they would look for parking in other neighborhoods, making the parking situation even messier.

On a related subject, two houses on my block that are owned by foreign investors function as unofficial hostels. The smaller one which has 3 bedrooms, has had 8 young men living in it for several months, each owning a car. 2 cars are parked in the driveway, the remaining 6 on the street. One house=8 cars. This is what happens when you keep squeezing in more and more people into the sardine can that Palo Alto has become.


19 people like this
Posted by Stewart
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:30 am

Not all, but many of the 'poor' firefighters, teachers and city workers in Palo Alto earn healthy 6 figure incomes. I don't, but manage to live in PA. Those figures are a fact and do not include in most cases, an extraordinarily generous pension/retirement package that most of us, including myself, could only dream about. Are Palo Alto residents expected to subsidies that so City Council can feel better at night?


1 person likes this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:54 am

@Kate My point was that if you think you deserve all the profit you can get from your home, why do you think that owners of rental property have some obligation to get less than market value for their property?

I don't mean "you" in the personal sense, just all these threads about affordable housing seem to take the same tone. Single family home owners want to get every penny they can for their homes. These same people want owners of other property to bear the burden of providing affordable housing.

What is fair is fair. If people proclaim that owners of rental property need to cap the rentals, the rate of increases, etc, then it is only fair that owners of single family homes to the same.

Everybody is for affordable housing as long as it is not next door to them and doesn't ask them to bear any burden.

This whole idea is now to build ghettos of affordable housing concentrated around specific areas of town. [Portion removed.]

/marc


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:15 am

The experience of other cities with micro units designed to create more affordability, Manhattan and Redwood City for example, indicate that they eventually become more expensive than larger, which then need to catch up with them. They make housing even less affordable, accelerate higher prices and all they accomplish is to increase density and lower quality of life.


10 people like this
Posted by Buck Allday
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:18 am

Stop forein Investers only allow Citizens of this country to be able to own property. Send those who are here Illegally or overstaying their Visa home. And affordable housing will soon follow.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 9:30 am

Innovative work practices can also help. I know someone who works for a company that only insists the be in the office on mon wed and fri. All meetings etc have to be scheduled on one of these 3 days. It is up to each employee as to when they work the other 2 days. It can be weekends evenings or at home. This has to help traffic patterns


25 people like this
Posted by The_Real_Problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 10:04 am

Admittedly a unique combination of factors like historically low interest rates, an influx of foreign investment and a round of large IPOs has has conspired to create an acute real estate problem. However, the true source of our traditional high cost of housing has not really been talked about very much.

In my experience of over 25 years and buying/selling multiple homes in silicon valley, there are two groups that drive the real estate market for single family homes. They set what I call the sacrifice threshold for the maximum people are willing to pay and that translates into monthly housing costs.

The first group is the dual income professional class. These are doctors, lawyers, financial planners and high tech workers that went to the best schools and earn the highest non-executive salaries. They are very smart, credentialed, pay the highest relative taxes and have worked extremely hard all their life.

Once they start to have kids, they put a premium on neighborhoods and schools and are willing to pay up to 50%-60% of their combined income to get a house. Their sacrifice threshold is a little over one person's income. With an annual household income of over $360K, that means the market price for a home in a good area will be $9,000 a month.

The second group is the entrepreneurial class. These are small business owners, real estate investors and venture capitalists. They are often immigrants but most importantly share an intense ambition or tenaciousness to grow wealth. They are willing to crimp, save and take risks way beyond what most people will tolerate.

They work very hard with no stops for nights, weekends and holidays. They are more willing to have roommates, team up with family members and reinvest every penny they can back into their businesses. Their strategy is to start small and trade up and/or build a portfolio of income generating investments. They will use creative and risky financing if they can or liquidate assets for large down payments if they must. Their sacrifice threshold is very high and they are the ones who will buy the house on the busy street corner or the teardown they fix up over 10 years on their path to a better home.

These two groups are willing to defer gratification and have historically driven up the housing prices. It is not by cheating or gaming the system but rather through hard work and sacrifice. They are the heart of the innovation engine that make Silicon Valley great and will always put pressure on housing affordability.

The reality is if you want a home in Palo Alto, they set the bar and you will need to work harder and give up more than they do.


5 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 10:22 am

@Kate, Thanks. You speak for many of us others who have lived here and contributed to our community for many years, and feel maligned by those who say nasty and hurtful things about us. Some of us will leave and some of us will stay and die here. That won't reduce the cost of housing. But, either way there will be a new higher tax base which will add to the coffers to be divvied up between, county, city, schools, and other entities.

@musical, Thanks for doing the math for us. I hope all the readers understand it and let it soak in.


4 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

There are at least three instances on this thread where long-time residents make comments implying that there are "nasty and hurtful" things said about longtime residents. For instance, "should we just move or die faster? Grow up and get real." Or, "we are happy, but it is hurtful to read the 'Seniors, please die or just leave." or sell and live in a small apartment."

Did someone say those things? I read the article, and scanned the comments, and saw nothing even close to that effect. Am I missing something?


Like this comment
Posted by kenagain
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2016 at 1:05 pm

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm

From today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Palo Alto considers subsidized housing for families making under $250,000

Web Link

"Palo Alto hopes their plan would help teachers, firefighters, government works and others with salaries that don't cover the cost of living remain in the city."

-------------
Please remind us again how many city workers make more than $200,000 in both real numbers and percentages. Please break it out by straight salary and benefits and pensions.

It warms the cockles of my heart to help the unfortunate.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

@Paul, Well...you are missing something...and it's the point. But thanks for your diligent review and feedback. You're right...no one said those exact words, so maybe we're reading too much into it and too sensitive about it. But, you can't deny there have been many posts claiming we are NIMBY's, and I'll argue that we're not with you long and hard, any day, all day. At least us SPA folks, who never, or rarely, go to the downtown area that we loved years ago.

My back yard is so far away from the problem areas I could safely say, build wherever the zoning allows and however much you can. My town has already been ruined and I don't use the downtown area anymore except for my Life Stories class at Avenidas and an occasional movie. And no, I'm not trying to stop growth so my property value will go up. That is the craziest of crazy ideas.

But, there is resentment that we, who were lucky to come here 40-50 years ago, and now own million dollar homes and the benefit of Prop 13, should feel guilt. I don't know how to respond to that except to say: houses, housing, rented or owned, is always a rolling stock. Hang on long enough and you'll get the benefit of Prop 13 and you'll have neighbors resenting that.

A scenario: Fictional, because I don't see this happening now, but let me continue: We, who have lived here a long time are the lucky ones, and then the next generation of buyers came in and bought a lot of homes that were built in the 50's-60's. They too are lucky, and each succeeding generation of home buyers were lucky until today, when they are less lucky, but still lucky, and thanks to Prop 13, they can still live here.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

@Paul, Well...you are missing something...and it's the point. But thanks for your diligent review and feedback. You're right...no one said those exact words, so maybe we're reading too much into it and too sensitive about it. But, you can't deny there have been many posts claiming we are NIMBY's, and I'll argue that we're not with you long and hard, any day, all day. At least us SPA folks, who never, or rarely, go to the downtown area that we loved years ago.

My back yard is so far away from the problem areas I could safely say, build wherever the zoning allows and however much you can. My town has already been ruined and I don't use the downtown area anymore except for my Life Stories class at Avenidas and an occasional movie. And no, I'm not trying to stop growth so my property value will go up. That is the craziest of crazy ideas.

But, there is resentment that we, who were lucky to come here 40-50 years ago, and now own million dollar homes and the benefit of Prop 13, should feel guilt. I don't know how to respond to that except to say: houses, housing, rented or owned, is always a rolling stock. Hang on long enough and you'll get the benefit of Prop 13 and you'll have neighbors resenting that.

A scenario: Fictional, because I don't see this happening now, but let me continue: We, who have lived here a long time are the lucky ones, and then the next generation of buyers came in and bought a lot of homes that were built in the 50's-60's. They too are lucky, and each succeeding generation of home buyers were lucky until today, when they are less lucky, but still lucky, and thanks to Prop 13, they can still live here.


8 people like this
Posted by Just feel poor now
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Thank you for the link @ "Online Name"

I am truly feel very depressed now. $250K is counting as poor??? I will apply for affordable housing too if the City post this standard...LOL. This means that many City workers make so much. Please post the real salary of city workers to the public.


10 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm



Here's the link to the salaries for Palo Alto city employees for 2014.

Transparent California:

Web Link



This link on the Transparent California page takes you to the cost per Palo Alto resident to pay those employee salaries:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Apartment Poor
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

I'm curious about the economics around selling houses with Prop 13. There is a big tax paid on the sale price, and that is considered a downfall? Haven't the owners of the property had years, even decades of very low property taxes? Doesn't the money saved over all these years more than make up for the tax at time of sale?

I don't feel sorry for someone who loses a special privelege many others have done without.


4 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@Online Name
I know there's been talk about subsidizing that but haven't seen any details. A nice idea but don't know how much backing it would get and the cost to taxpayers. I'd like to hear from proponents on that.

A poster a while back said I shouldn't feel sorry for firemen making $200,000 a year. I don't, but I doubt if any or many live in PA. They probably have families and can't live in micro or studio or single or 2 bedroom units. I'm guessing they have very nice homes but far from their fire stations. I have high respect for them and don't begrudge them their pay. The fact is if they wanted to live in an equivalent house in PA it would cost $3M and they'd need a $2.5 M loan. For that loan, 30 years at 3.9% interest, they would have to pay $11,820 per month, or $141,840 per year. They have to pay for taxes, insurance, groceries, clothes, car loans, etc., so how could they possibly live here? The fact is they can't...very sad since we had 2 firemen living in our neighborhood years ago.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm

Gale Johnson,

I too would like to see some details on how we would subsidize this. I'd also like to know how this helps the waiters, waitresses and other service workers in Palo ALto.

It was reported some time ago that the average income in Palo Alto was something like $65,000 or $70,000 which is way less than 2014 figures cited above for city workers.

Few private sector workers get pensions. Few of us get the opportunity to voluntarily retire at 50 and get any pay at all. Few private sector workers making more than minimum wage get overtime but city workers making more than $100,000 get overtime which often doubles their straight salaries. According to the 2014 figures cited about, every man, woman and child is paying $2233 per city worker.


15 people like this
Posted by Raj
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Many of the "teachers, firefighters, government workers", state and municipal government employees to be specific, already earn significant incomes and can retire years before most other people because of the very generous, and heavily subsidized, retirement pension and benefits in the country. The idea that I or anyone, should further subsidize this is absurdity on steroids! According to SFGate, I would easily qualify for a handout from the city Web Link I wonder if Atherton has a program to subsidize those making under $1M who want to live there? Another Palo Alto Kumbaya moment, of course paid for by Palo Alto tax payers, not those who want to implement it. I would further guess most Palo Alto tax payers would qualify for a subsidy. Ridiculous.


4 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm

@Online Name
I trust all your numbers are correct. If they aren't we'll hear about it. But yes, one of the biggest problems we have in PA, and other cities I'm sure, is the burgeoning cost of retirement benefits for city employees. I know the city is trying to rein that in a little bit, but they're restricted by past legislation and union contracts. It's the retired city workers who get to take cruises, nice vacations, buy second homes/cabins and live the good life after their first career is over at an early age. And they can still work another government job and double dip. Grrr! But I think we all had the opportunity to pursue that path tho.


2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:57 pm

@Raj, I think you hit the nail on the head. You got right to the point and summed it up very well. I've been kinda dancing around on the subject. Those employees might not be able to afford to live here now, so they should just commute for a few more years and then they can retire and live the life of leisure away from this PA madness. They should buck up and not whine and expect handouts from us taxpayers to help them more than we're already doing.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 24, 2016 at 1:09 am

"According to the 2014 figures cited about, every man, woman and child is paying $2233 per city worker."

@Gale, yup, online's numbers are correct. That 2014 table listed around 1580 city workers. Fortunately only about 1000 are full time equivalents, so my personal bill was $2233 per city worker times 1000 city workers, which came to just over $2 million. Everyone else in my household declared bankruptcy and fled to Honduras.


9 people like this
Posted by Rebecca Byrne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 24, 2016 at 1:29 pm

As Palo Alto continues to address its housing crisis, it’s important to remember Palo Alto’s citizens with developmental disabilities. According to the California Department of Developmental Disabilities, there are currently 473 citizens in Palo Alto who have developmental disabilities, only 48 of whom are living in their own apartment. The cost of rental housing in Palo Alto makes independent living an unaffordable option for many people who could otherwise live successfully in their own apartment.

To address the housing needs of residents with developmental disabilities and others with extremely low income, Palo Alto should remove the land use barriers that prevent the construction of high density, transit-oriented housing that is affordable to a range of incomes.

It can be done! Look only as far as Mountain View where the city worked creatively with the developer to plan 1585 Studios, 26 very affordable studio apartments specifically for people with developmental disabilities.

California Ave and University Ave would be ideal locations for developments like this because they are walkable as well as conveniently located near transit.


3 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 24, 2016 at 1:47 pm

@musical
I was thinking more like Costa Rica. My last interior painter, moved there and he told me all about the benefits there. I loved my town years ago, and I'm still trying to love it today, but it's getting harder and harder. None of the new residents, and all on the CC, don't have any idea what the town was like in the 60's-70's. Oh, they can read about it but they didn't have the opportunity to live it and experience it. They missed out on better times. Now CC is struggling on our current problems and trying to figure out the direction to take for the future of 'my town'.

I wish them well and I don't have too many years left to enjoy my town. I hope I can stay and enjoy it to the end, and die here.


7 people like this
Posted by LB
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 24, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Proposition 13 is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. It prevents natural mobility in the housing market. Nowhere else in the US do people buy and hold and hold and hold and never move. Repealing Prop 13 would help bring prices down to more affordable levels. All taxpayers in California, like it or not, are subsidizing property owners who benefit from Prop 13. If there are too many cry-babies to repeal it, then the state needs to step in and implement rent controls which are the equivalent for renters. I would prefer to see the state repeal Prop 13 and get out of the business of interfering in the housing market.


4 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Mar 24, 2016 at 9:01 pm

The regional and nation media is reporting this issue as providing subsidies for people making up to $250K.

Gennafy needs to pin Scharff done on this point


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 24, 2016 at 10:10 pm

It's not just the regional and national media but the international media as well. Here's one from the UK

Web Link

Quite a few friends from around town and around the region and those who've left the area have written to ask how they can qualify. Excellent question.

I'd like to know how much those of us local residents whose families make less than $250K are expected to contribute. And what about all those waiters, waitresses, retail clerks, etc.?


1 person likes this
Posted by BeNice
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 26, 2016 at 9:28 am

@Gale Johnson

"If you've rented for 40 years ... Maybe you should have saved enough for a down payment and bought a house."

Ouch. That's a really snarky comment.


7 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 26, 2016 at 10:12 am

Rather than have the residents of Palo Alto provide corporate welfare to companies who don't want to pay their employees a sufficient salary to buy in Palo Alto, how about the City Council consider a per employee tax that would go into a housing fund:

For each employee making less than $250,000 who doesn't live in Palo Alto, the employer must pay into the housing fund $10,000 per year per employee. There can be variations on this - like exempting retail businesses, or exempting businesses with less than 10 employees.

I think this will solve our jobs/housing imbalance within 5 years.


3 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Mar 26, 2016 at 12:39 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I hope everyone is aware that the " subsidized housing for families making $250,000" was a false story retracted as reported in today's Daily Post. I have not checked the
Weekly coverage. The Post story quotes mayor Burt confirming that the council motion was for housing within the existing income guidelines, not $250,000.

I think the policy question and I do not know the law is whether below market rate housing can be expanded (yes if funding is forthcoming) and whether it can be reserved/prioritized for local public employees.


4 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

I wish that Woodside had a Steve Levy. I really, really want to live in Woodside but make a little under than a million dollars per year. I wish Woodside would provide subsidized housing for people like me. Why should Woodside residents be allowed to protect their way of life and not subsidize my desire to own a house there?


3 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I hope we're not taking that proposal seriously. It was misreported and it will die on the vine. It was a 'feel good' idea but there is no way it can be implemented. Don't get your knickers all bunched up over this. Just carry on your normal sane life.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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